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Rights groups say UK conducts mass cyber-snooping

June 18, 2014 9:57 am | by JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press | Comments

The U.K.'s electronic spy agency is legally allowed to track the online activities of millions of Britons who use U.S.-based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, Britain's top counterterrorism official has said. In a witness statement made public Tuesday ...

Report: Chinese phone comes preloaded with spyware

June 18, 2014 9:56 am | by RAPHAEL SATTER and FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press | Comments

A cheap brand of Chinese-made smartphones carried by major online retailers comes preinstalled with espionage software, a German security firm said Tuesday. G Data Software said it found malicious code hidden deep in the propriety software of the Star N9500 when it ordered the handset from a website late last month....

Elon Musk takes on carbon with solar, battery bets

June 18, 2014 9:53 am | by JONATHAN FAHEY, AP Energy Writer | Comments

The energy world is not keeping up with Elon Musk, so he's trying to take matters into his own hands. Musk, chairman of the solar installer SolarCity, announced Tuesday that the company would acquire a solar panel maker and build factories "an order of magnitude" bigger than the plants that currently churn out panels....

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Amazon is about to jump into smartphones

June 17, 2014 4:30 pm | by MAE ANDERSON and RYAN NAKASHIMA, Associated Press | Comments

Amazon, a company of seemingly boundless ambition, appears to be venturing into yet another market: smartphones. The corporate juggernaut that started out with books and soon moved into music, video, cloud computing and Kindle e-readers is hosting a launch event Wednesday in Seattle....

Hunt for extraterrestrial life gets massive methane boost

June 17, 2014 4:25 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

A powerful new model to detect life on planets outside of our solar system, more accurately than ever before, has been developed by UCL (University College London) researchers. The new model focuses on methane, the simplest organic molecule, widely acknowledged to be a sign of potential life....

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References resources find their place among open access and Google, study finds

June 17, 2014 4:21 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

How do open access sources, tightened budgets, and competition from popular technologies affect how librarians perceive and employ reference resources? How do librarians expect to utilize reference in the future? "The State of Reference Collections," a new SAGE white paper out today....

Solar photons drive water off the moon

June 17, 2014 4:16 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Water is thought to be embedded in the moon's rocks or, if cold enough, "stuck" on their surfaces. It's predominantly found at the poles. But scientists probably won't find it intact on the sunlit side. New research at the Georgia Institute of Technology indicates that ultraviolet photons emitted by the sun likely cause H2O molecules to either quickly desorb or break apart....

Fuel cells utilised to produce electricity from process industry by-product hydrogen

June 17, 2014 4:09 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a pilot-scale power plant based on fuel cells that utilises by-product hydrogen from the process industry. The power plant has been in operation at Kemira Chemicals Oy's site in Finland since January 2014.....

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Strange physics turns off laser

June 17, 2014 4:07 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Inspired by anomalies that arise in certain mathematical equations, researchers have demonstrated a laser system that paradoxically turns off when more power is added rather than becoming continuously brighter. The finding by a team of researchers at Vienna University of Technology and Princeton University, could lead to new ways....

Surfing the Web in class? Bad idea

June 17, 2014 1:01 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Even the smartest college students suffer academically when they use the Internet in class for non-academic purposes, finds new research by Michigan State University scholars. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, speaks to typical lecture-hall culture....

Crowdsourcing the phase problem

June 17, 2014 12:57 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Compared with humans, computers have the capacity to solve problems at much greater speed. There are many problems, however, where computational speed alone is insufficient to find a correct or optimal solution, for example because the parameter "space" cannot be fully searched in a practical time....

NIST technique could make sub-wavelength images at radio frequencies

June 17, 2014 12:54 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Imaging and mapping of electric fields at radio frequencies (RF)* currently requires the use of metallic structures such as dipoles, probes and reference antennas. To make such measurements efficiently, the size of these structures needs to be on the order of the wavelength of the RF fields to be mapped....

Swell new sensors

June 17, 2014 12:47 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Using microscopic polymer light resonators that expand in the presence of specific gases, researchers at MIT's Quantum Photonics Laboratory have developed new optical sensors with predicted detection levels in the parts-per-billion range. Optical sensors are ideal for detecting trace gas concentrations....

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MIPT develops unique greenhouse gas meter

June 17, 2014 12:44 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Laboratory for the Spectroscopy of Planetary Atmospheres of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology has come up with a high-resolution meter to gauge the concentration of gases in the atmosphere with unparalleled precision. The infrared spectrum radiometer is described in an article recently published in the journal Optics Express....

With light echoes, the invisible becomes visible

June 17, 2014 12:42 pm | by EurekAlert! | Comments

Scientists at the University of Bonn and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) have developed a novel camera system which can see around the corner without using a mirror. Using diffusely reflected light, it reconstructs the shape of objects outside of the field of view....

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